North East’s Preisch wins UCBAC ti­tle in pour­ing rain



— Alec Preisch had to be re­source­ful.

Uti­liz­ing an unortho­dox strat­egy, the North East se­nior over­came the heavy rain and slick con­di­tions to out­last seven other com­peti­tors in the fi­nals and cap­ture first place in the dis­cus on the sec­ond day of the UCBAC Track and Field Cham­pi­onships at Per­ryville High School on Wed­nes­day.

Hud­dled with the other throw­ers just to the left of the cage, Preisch made an ef­fort to es­cape the down­pour by wear­ing a hooded sweat­shirt and hold­ing an um­brella over his head. He kept the dis­cus dry by wrap­ping it in the ma­te­rial of his shirt.

When it be­came his turn to throw, he wasted no time bounc­ing into the cir­cle, shed­ding his jacket and um­brella, and let­ting the dis­cus fly.

“Get the um­brella, dry your hand, throw the um­brella and then, while your hand is still dry, jump in and just chuck it,” Preisch said. “It’s 100 times harder to throw in this.”

Preisch cap­tured the dis­cus throw with a toss of 131 feet, seven inches, fin­ish­ing ahead of Bel Air’s Jacob Sparr, who ended with a throw of 126-08.

“To­day he did what he needed to do. He came with his own lit­tle theory, with his um­brella, and boom!” In­di­ans throw­ers coach Carle West­brook said. “He’s a quick thrower any­way. He doesn’t play around. We ac­tu­ally de­vel­oped that in ninth grade for him. The more Alec thinks, the less com­fort­able he gets.”

De­spite the rain, Preisch’s cre­ative method al­lowed him to im­prove on last sea­son’s sec­ond-place fin­ish in the same tour­na­ment.

“It does change your strat­egy,” West­brook said of per­form­ing in bad weather. “We prac­tice when it


rains. While a lot of peo­ple go lift weights, we still throw so we won’t drop as much as some teams. But [rain] def­i­nitely af­fects you. Your grip, your feet, the cir­cle gets slip­pery on its own. It’s bad.

“The re­gions are next week and hope­fully better weather.”

Preisch’s per­for­mance capped a suc­cess­ful two days for the se­nior, who cap­tured sec­ond place in the shot put on Tues­day with a toss of 47-01. He fin­ished less than a foot be­hind Aberdeen’s Eli­jah John­son, who won the UCBAC crown with a throw of 48 feet.

The In­di­ans’ Con­nor Ye­d­i­nak and Kyle McCul­ley earned third and sixth place in the shot put, re­spec­tively. McCul­ley later fin­ished fifth and Ye­d­i­nak sixth in the dis­cus on Wed­nes­day. Elks con­tinue strong sea­son The Elkton boys’ track and field squad main­tained its strong spring cam­paign by post­ing the top score among Ce­cil County teams at the UCBAC Cham­pi­onships at Per­ryville High School on Wed­nes­day.

Af­ter tak­ing first place ear­lier in the year at both the Ce­cil County In­vi­ta­tional and the Susque­hanna Di­vi­sion Tour­na­ment, the Golden Elks se­cured a fourth over­all fin­ish Wed­nes­day, end­ing with 63 points.

Elkton re­ceived vic­to­ries from se­nior Zyphere Ruf­fin and fresh­man Ray John­son, while cap­tur­ing sec­ond place in the 4x100-me­ter re­lay.

Ruf­fin tri­umphed Wed­nes­day af­ter he knifed his way through the pour­ing rain on the track to cap­ture first place in the 400-me­ter dash.

Neck and neck down the back stretch, Ruf­fin pulled away from Aberdeen’s Nathan Reed in the fi­nal mo­ments. He then crossed the fin­ish line in 51.79 sec­onds, nearly two sec­onds ahead of Reed.

“Hon­estly, I like run­ning in the rain,” said Ruf­fin, who also added a third-place re­sult in the 200-me­ter dash. “It’s more dra­matic so it pushes me to run harder. Plus it’s cooler. Run­ning when it’s hot [is not as fun]. It take a lot more en­ergy.”

John­son joined him on the first­place podium with a win in the pole vault. The fresh­man fin­ished by climb­ing to a height of 11 feet. His ef­fort just edged Ris­ing Sun’s Noah Ul­rich, who climbed 10-6. Per­ry­ille’s Cage Jones placed third with a vault of 10 feet.

“We hon­estly came out of no where. We have a very good coach who pushes us in prac­tice,” Ruf­fin said. “We don’t have the num­bers but we have the tal­ent. I can’t imag­ine what it would be like if we had the num­bers and the tal­ent all to­gether. We’d be win­ning the UCBACs all to­gether, the re­gion all to­gether and pos­si­bly states.”

John­son also fin­ished sev­enth in the long jump and Raiquon Estep placed sixth in the long jump and third in the triple jump, while Ge­orge Davis pro­duced a fifth-place fin­ish in the pole vault for Elkton, which re­ceived fourth-place re­sults from Peter Olakunle in the 100-me­ter dash and Leighton Lewis in the dis­cus and a fifth-place fin­ish from Malachi Peter­son in the 800-me­ter run. Pan­thers place sec­ond Fu­eled by first-place fin­ishes from Au­tumn Estep and Jarah Ce­vis, the Per­ryville girls’ track and field team cap­tured sec­ond place in the UCBAC Tour­na­ment.

Both Estep and Ce­vis bat­tled rain-soaked con­di­tions Wed­nes­day to con­trib­ute to the fi­nal score for the Pan­thers, who ended the tour­na­ment with 117 points. C.M. Wright fin­ished with 126 points to place first.

Estep, a se­nior, took first place in the 300-me­ter hur­dles af­ter she fin­ished the race in 48-21, just edg­ing Haford Tech’s Ann Luna, who cap­tured sec­ond in 48-34. Estep later added a sec­ond-place fin­ish in the 100-me­ter hur­dles and con­trib- uted to Per­ryville’s sec­ond-place re­sult in the 4x400-me­ter re­lay and fourth-place fin­ish in the 4x200me­ter re­lay.

Across the sta­dium, Ce­vis, a sopho­more, pre­vailed in the shot put, win­ning with a toss of 33-05 to fin­ish ahead of the Mustangs’ Kiarra Now­ell (32-11). Ce­vis col­lected a third-place re­sult in the dis­cus.

Alysa Con­way added to Per­ryville’s score by cap­tur­ing sec­ond-place re­sults in the 100- and 400-me­ter dashes and the triple jump, be­fore tak­ing fifth place in the 200-me­ter dash. Brooke Doane also con­trib­uted to Per­ryville’s suc­cess with a third-place re­sult in the triple jump, a fourth-place fin­ish in the long jump and a six­th­place mark in the 300-me­ter dash.

Paiton Kelly (sec­ond place), Erica Schep­pel­mann (third place) and Natalie Owens (sixth place) all con­trib­uted for the Pan­thers in the pole vault, while Jil­lian Miller’s fourth-place fin­ish in shot put and Chris­ten Dod­son’s eighth-place fin­ish in dis­cus also added to the fi­nal score for Per­ryville, which earned a sixth-place re­sult in the 4x100-me­ter re­lay.

For a full list of all Ce­cil County ath­letes who placed dur­ing the UCBAC Cham­pi­onships, please visit Ce­cil­


North East se­nior Alec Preisch pre­pares to throw dur­ing the boys’ dis­cus event at the UCBAC Track and Field Cham­pi­onships at Per­ryville on Wed­nes­day. De­spite heavy rain, Preisch cap­tured first place in the dis­cus with a toss of 131 feet, seven inches.

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